Erich Mendelsohn was born on the 21 March, 1887 in Allenstein, East Prussia (now in Poland). He studied architecture in Berlin and Munich and in 1915 married Louiser Maas. He opened a studio in Berlin after the First World War.
In 1921 he lost the sight of one eye, the result of a tumour. In 1924 he made his first visit to America. In 1926/7 he designed the Cohen-Epstein Store in Duisburg; in 1926/8 the Petersdorf Store in Breslau; in 1928/9 the Schocken Store in Chemnitz; in 1929/30 the German Metallurgic Federation and Mendelsohn House in Berlin and in 1931/2 the Columbushaus in Berlin. Following Hitler’s rise to power, he moved in 1933 to England and began his collaboration with Serge Chermayeff.
In 1934 they won the competition instigated by the 9th earl De La Warr for the De La Warr Pavilion with their welded-steel frame design. In 1936 Mendelsohn’s collaboration with Chermayeff came to an end. Between 1936 and 1939 he maintained studios in London and Jerusalem. In 1939 he obtained British citizenship and was made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1939 he moved to Palestine and in 1941 to New York. In 1946 he was granted American citizenship and from this time most of his work was done in the United States. He died on the 12th September, 1953